Ah, the moments when life can’t get any better. You’ll find one of these snapshots in Exodus 1:1-5. Israel had relocated to Egypt where there was food and wine and plenty of work. The people of God cried, “Hallelujah!”
As the hymn says, “New heights I’m gaining every day.”
Problem was, God didn’t think it was a high. He wasn’t singing.
Something about Him doesn’t like to leave things half-done. We’re okay with that arrangement, though. As long as what got done involves 85k a year, and heated leather seats—chocolate sprinkles under another name.
But God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob a lot more.
For one thing, He told them He’d make them a great nation.1 But Abraham’s people had been assimilated into somebody else’s country. You could say they were not just in the Egyptian world, but were of it. A great nation? Try no nation.
God had said, “I will bless you.”2 Their blessings were visible to some extent. The Israelites had some toys. But it raises the question of whether God’s best was simply a good plow horse. Reminds me of little kids at birthday parties who start to open a gift and get completely distracted by the shiny wrapper. It’s hard to bless them with anything further when the paper crinkles in such an entertaining way and the bow tastes so good.
God had also promised to make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth.3 Where do productive human minds go when they hear this kind of thing? Well, opening a new fried fish kiosk with the most mouth-watering tilapia in town. Importing the finest Mediterranean pearls at discount prices so everyone can afford them. Being the best “me” that I could be. All of that stuff sounds like what it means to be a blessing to someone else. Guaranteed, nobody was thinking of becoming the launch point for Christ to enter the world and save the human race from perishing in sin. Nobody except God.
And so the good times in Egypt were never going to last, because compared to what will happen later in the Bible, they weren’t really that good anyway.
Thankfully, God dislikes partially fulfilled promises. Look at the Scriptural data:
It is impossible for God to lie4 and He is faithful.5
God’s word, His Scriptures, cannot be broken (invalidated).6
Things occur just because He says so—we find the phrase, such-and-such happened “so that the prophecy might be fulfilled.”7 When God says something, history itself lines up on it and then converges to accomplish it.
During “happy” days in Egypt, we only see the barest glimmer of a promise kept. No wonder while everyone is satisfied with their flat screens and speedboats, God isn’t. He’s thinking about His covenant promises and you better believe He’s doing something to fulfill them.
But what if Pharaoh puts up his hand and says, “No”?
Oh that’s funny. Pull up a chair.
1 Gen. 12:1-2
2 Gen. 12:2b
3 Gen 12:3
4 Heb. 6:18
5 2 Tim. 2:13
6 John 10:35
7 Mt. 2:23, 4:14, et. al.